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My Recent Comments
Local input on zoning rules should only work if there is a collective pool of X increments of zoning increases, and have them be tradeable across neighborhoods in some way similar to carbon exchange markets. Every CB by default is upzoned by 3-4 levels, and then have to trade away their upzone obligations for other amenity credits. The thought's not fully fleshed out, but there's something in there to allow for local influence and accountability.
However we do it though, we need to upzone across our city to allow for another 500,000 housing units (and hope we can get to net new 300,000 apartments). Create new CBDs, or enhance existing ones. Specific to southeastern Queens, we should open up the old Atlantic Avenue factory corridor for denser mixed-use residential/local commercial usage. Rebuild the Rockaway Beach line for an R express. Use what ROW' we have. 9 months ago
Donut's 'not happening' declaration of an inability to connect light rail to the subway and/or LIRR is untrue. People transfer all the time from buses to subway stations all the time. Last I checked, nothing would stop completing the 3% of ROW not under current control by the MTA and city, and then setting up stations outside existing train stations.
When it comes to subways, almost every bit of NYC falls into a 'if you build it, they will come' category. Only the lower part of the IRT was built on assumptions about day-1 ridership. The network's expansion of interconnections is its own reward. People have been crying for decades over Queens' lack of north-south and to- midtown mass transit options. Here is part of how you fix it. And the pro-Queensway crowd is how they keep making it sounding plausible to let the solution slip out of one's fingers. Only some of the pro-Queensway crowd actually cares about the 24-hour hiking and biking path. The rest just want the status quo, regardless of how many people it continues to harm and limit.
I've walked down the ROW many times, and there are probably at least 4-5 sites for either a subway station or a light rail platform along the way to Queens Blvd from Liberty Ave, with potential transfer points off the J, the A, and various bus routes along Myrtle and Metropolitan. If it's part of the MTA and included in for free transfers, there will be no problems with ridership gaps. This isn't the AirTrain we're talking about - a Port Authority solution to Port Authority priorities. Putting the midtown CBD within 25 one-seat minutes of Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and southern Forest Hills, Far Rockaway within 45 one-seat minutes, will mean a doubling of property values over large swaths of Queens, and make a lot of people's lives (both current and future) better. 9 months ago
The QueensWay is never going to be the High Line for Queens. For pedestrian and cycling traffic, you're not using this ROW to create something that completely doesn't exist. Forest Park is right there for a good chunk of it. Tourists will not have a hunger to get out to this area in any great quantities without mass transit in the first place. So this comes down to something meant to rob everyone in Queens of network value in order to maintain either the status quo or to create a resource only a relatively small number of people will use. If this area of Queens was already served with a 20-minute ride to Midtown, this wouldn't be an issue. But so long as Woodhaven and Ozone Park aren't drowning in fast midtown solutions, there is only one real use for this land.
Intact ROW is literally priceless in New York City. This is not an exaggeration. Intact ROW in an underserved area really shouldn't be this difficult to imagine being a value multiplier and a big win for everyone. For decades you've all heard people complain about Queens getting the short end of the mass transit stick. Remember this moment, here and now, the next time anyone complains in your presence again about the mass-transit options in southern and eastern queens. Those who talk about any use other than mass-transit for this ROW is not a friend of the city, of the neighborhoods, or of the neighborhoods beyond it that would also be connected more deeply into the mass transit network. The value of a network is in its interconnections and its nodes.
Southern and eastern Queens needs to wake up to its future. The status quo can't continue. The city is growing, and Queens needs every neighbor and taxpayer it can get. Queens has needed a new mass-transit option since forever. Whether it's an R express, or a light rail track, it's what will do far more for the economy than a narrow cycle path and walkway. 9 months ago